Did Paul Preach a Different Gospel?

March 3, 2022 // 10 Comments

Read the New Testament and you might come away with the idea that there is more than one gospel. The very first words of the New Testament in the King James Bible are, “The Gospel According to Matthew.” Read on and you will also find the gospels according to Mark, Luke, and John. In the Gospels of Matthew and [...]

Pure religion (James 1:27)

January 28, 2016 // 40 Comments

Religion is bad. By definition, religion is a kind of bondage, which means there’s no such thing as good religion. But what about James who said this: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the [...]

Who Dares to be a Teacher? (James 3:1)

June 6, 2014 // 49 Comments

Recently I read something that made me sad. It was a Facebook note penned by a noted Bible teacher and it went something like this: “I’m a teacher of the gospel, but you’re probably not a teacher, so best not to pretend you are because you could lead people astray.” This comment wasn’t addressed to [...]

Grumble and die? (James 5:9)

October 3, 2013 // 26 Comments

If you went to Sunday School you probably know that the Israelites grumbled in the wilderness. And you may know what God did to them when they grumbled. He slaughtered them (see Ps 106:25-26)! “So let this be a lesson to you, children,” says the historically-minded teacher. “You grumble, you die.” What a [...]

James – Apostle of Grace

February 21, 2011 // 5 Comments

In this series we have seen that one of the keys to understanding James is to watch Paul. Paul is the canary in the mine. He needs to breathe pure grace or he’ll explode. When Peter distances himself from the Gentiles in Antioch, Paul smells mixture and reacts angrily. But when James says “shave your head,” [...]

Acts 21:17-26

February 16, 2011 // 20 Comments

If I told you there was a New Testament believer who esteemed the law, made offerings at the temple, and circumcised at least one of his friends, you might think, “there goes someone who needs to hear about the grace of God!” Yet the apostle Paul did all these things. Why? To win Jews to Christ… Though I am [...]

Acts 15 – Grace defeats law in Jerusalem

February 13, 2011 // 16 Comments

For hundreds of years, James the apostle has been given a bad rap. He’s been dismissed as an apostle of works and a primitive Christian who didn’t know grace. I have never heard anyone say that James preached pure grace. As far as I know, I may be the only one banging this drum. But think, for a moment, about [...]

Did James understand grace? 6 reasons to say yes!

February 9, 2011 // 43 Comments

Your opinion of James matters a great deal. If you think James was confused about the gospel of grace, then you might as well throw your Bible away. If James was preaching a different message from Paul, then the NT writers are a house divided. And if the writers of the Bible do not agree with each other on basic [...]

James – The Misunderstood Apostle

February 8, 2011 // 10 Comments

Do you think that James understood the gospel of grace that Paul preached? In a recent series I argued that the Epistle of James may be the most misunderstood book in the New Testament. Indeed, some of the scriptures (e.g., James 2:24), seem to preach salvation by works in apparent conflict with the gospel of [...]

What is the Key to James?

October 13, 2010 // 14 Comments

The Epistle of James may be the most misunderstood book in the New Testament. In this short series we have looked at some of the “troublesome” verses in James. Where others have found law and condemnation, we have found grace and freedom! In case you missed it, here’s a summary of what we’ve covered so [...]

James – Preacher of Grace

October 2, 2010 // 28 Comments

It seems everyone has an opinion about James and how his letter fits (or doesn’t fit) into the New Testament. I thought I had heard everything, but this week, one of my readers sent me Scofield’s take on the book of James: “..his epistle shows no trace of the larger revelations of the church and the [...]

James 2:24

September 20, 2010 // 32 Comments

In this study on James chapter 2, we have been comparing works done under law with works done under grace. Understanding this distinction is essential if we are to reconcile Paul, the preacher of grace, with James, who said this… You see then that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (Jas [...]